Cancer survivor funds ground-breaking study to find out why cancer returns in some patients and not others.
An eminent philanthropist and three-time cancer survivor Dr James Hull has joined forces with six of the world’s leading medical research institutions and scientists across the country to investigate why cancer returns in some people and not others.
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The innovative approach to cancer research is focussed on identifying and understanding what it
is that makes some people able to survive cancer and remain cancer free. It is built on the belief that immunotherapy, which harnesses our immune system to stop cancer, is the key to the future of
Focusing on patients who have had successful treatment of advanced cancer and in whom the cancer has not reoccurred for at least 5 years, researchers from the University of Surrey as part of the Continuum Long-term Survivor study, will undertake non-invasive investigations of each individuals’ immune systems and tumour cells to identify any unique features which could explain why they have remained cancer free.
Researchers will also be examining the composition of bacteria in the stool of long-term survivors. Emerging evidence suggests that bacteria in stool may affect the workings of our immune system and its effectiveness in dealing with infections. Researchers think that the survivors will have a different composition of bacteria in their bowel than healthy volunteers and those currently with cancer.
This study will look at the immune system of these ‘long term survivors of cancer’ and compare it to the immune system of other cancer patients and also health volunteers.
The study now needs to recruit healthy volunteers. If you have no history of cancer, have no significant medical conditions and are not currently taking steroidal medication we would like to hear from you.
You must be prepared to travel to the University of Surrey to donate 100mls of blood, give a stool sample via post and complete a lifestyle questionnaire. Travel expenses will be reimbursed.
Principal Investigator Hardev Pandha, Professor of Medical Oncology at the University of Surrey, said: “Advances in care have resulted in more people than ever surviving the disease. It is gratifying to see such results, however this joy is often dampened by the possibility of the cancer returning in patients.
“Currently it is impossible for us to know if cancer will return in patients, in some it will come back but others will remain cancer free for the rest of their lives. We want to know why this happens and if there is something unique that occurs in the immune system of patients who remain cancer free.”